Physical Combat

Physical Combat Rules

To Hit Numbers
In our game, to-hit numbers for physical combat are all based on your piloting ability. So the better you are at driving your mech, the better you will be at physical combat.


A BattleMech can either punch or fire its arm mounted weapons in a turn. A mech does not need hands to punch. A BattleMech may punch with either one or both arms, but the mech may not fire any weapons from the arm or both arms that will do the punching. The mech’s shoulder must have taken no critical hits, and any arm actuator damaged makes success more difficult. All punch attacks must be made against targets in the mech’s forward arc or front side (including left and right). If the target is in the Right or Left arc, then only the right or left arm may punch. If the target is in the forward arc then both arms may punch.

The Base To Hit Number for a Punch is Piloting +1, which is modified by movement and terrain just as in weapons fire; +2 for each arm actuator destroyed, and +1 if the hand actuator has been destroyed.

Make a To Hit Roll for each fist punching. The punch from each fist has a Damage Value of 1 for every 10 tons (or fraction of 10 tons) that the attacker weighs. The damage is cut in half for each arm actuator damaged, with the effects being cumulative (rounded up). For Mech targets, damage location is determined for each separate punch by rolling 1D6 and consulting the Punch Table.

Unless prone or fallen down, a mech may not punch vehicles, conventional naval vessels and infantry. Resolve punch attacks against these units on the Front Side column of their Hit Location Tables."

For Example, an Archer with a damaged upper arm actuator punches a Warhammer on the right side with one fist. The damaged actuator gives a To Hit modifier of +2 and cuts the normal damage in half. The punch Top Hit number is 6. The Archer weighs 70 tons, and so its punch had a normal damage value of 7 (70 divided by 10 = 7), but this is reduced to 4 because of the damaged actuator. The attacking player rolls a 3, which is the target’s center torso. The player with the Warhammer records the damage value of 4 by crossing off 4 circles off his Record Sheet on the armor diagram."

The BattleTech Manual, The Rules of Warfare", # 1626, pg 25, FASA Corporation, Chicago, IL, 1987


Only one of a Battlemech’s legs can kick per turn (Ed. Note – Except for the Goliath and Scorpion mechs). No weapons mounted on that leg can be fired in the turn it kicks., and both hips must be undamaged. The mech’s target must be in the forward arc (Ed. Note – Except for the Goliath and Scorpion mechs). The mech may kick or stomp vehicles if the mech and vehicle are in the same hex, along with making kicks against adjacent vehicles.

Kick.jpgA forward kick into the hex in front of the mech has a Base To Hit Number is piloting +0. The Base To Hit Number must be modified by movement and terrain, just as with weapons fire. Kicks have a Damage Value of 1 point for every 5 tons that the attacking BattleMech weighs (a Warhammer’s kick would inflict 14 damage points!). For each damaged actuator, this damage value is cut in half, with the effects being cumulative (rounded up). Determine damage location by rolling 1D6 and consulting the Kick Table.

A mech that has been successfully kicked must make a Piloting Skill Roll. A mech that missed a kick must make a Piloting Skill Roll.

A kick is the only type of physical attack allowed against a prone or fallen mech (another prone or fallen mech may punch the first mech). All normal To Hit Modifiers are used, including the -2 for attacks against prone mechs from adjacent hexes. Damage location is determined using the normal Hit Location Table, not the Kick Location Table.

Vehicles and infantry may be kicked, but there is a +3 modifier for infantry (as they tend to scurry around when mechs get too close). The side on which the vehicle takes damage is determined randomly when the mech is making the attack in the same hex."

The BattleTech Manual, The Rules of Warfare", # 1626, pg 25-26, FASA Corporation, Chicago, IL, 1986


“A mech uses both arms to push its target. No arm mounted weapons can be fired in the turn that a mech makes a Push attack. Push attacks can be made against targets in the forward arc only.

The Base To Hit Number for a Push is Piloting +1. This is modified by movement, terrain and +2 for each shoulder actuator damaged. A successful Push does not automatically do damage to the target; instead, it moves the defending mech into an adjacent hex in the direction that the attacker is pushing. At the same time, the defending mech must make a Piloting Skill Roll. If the Push is successful, the attacking mech advances into the hex formerly occupied by its target. Vehicles and infantry cannot be pushed."

The BattleTech Manual, The Rules of Warfare", # 1626, pg 26, FASA Corporation, Chicago, IL, 1987


“All mechs and vehicles may charge. In order for a mech to charge, both legs must be functioning. The charging unit can make no other fire or physical attacks. The Base to Hit Number for a Charge is piloting +2. If the charge hits, the defender is moved just as if he had been pushed, and the attacker advances into into the target’s hex. If the unit misses the attack, it will end up in either the front right or front left hex of the target; the choice is the attacker’s. Ground vehicles and infantry may not be charged.

Charges must be declared during the movement phase, but, like all other physical attacks, they are resolved during the Physical Attack Phase. This sequence means that the Charging unit can only attack units that have finished their movement.

The Charging movement must spend MP to enter the target hex, whether or not the Charge is successful. If a unit does not have enough MP left over from its Movement Phase to enter the hex, it may not Charge. Additionally, if the target hex is restricted terrain for the unit, the unit may not charge.

Piloting Skill Modifier Whenever one Mech charges another, compare the Mechwarriors’ Piloting Skill levels. The difference between the two skill levels is the Piloting Skill Modifier. If the defending Mechwarrior’s skill level is lower, add the modifier to the To Hit Number; if the attacker’s Piloting Skill is lower, subtract the modifier from the To Hit Number.

Damage Both units take damage from the collision. The defender takes one point of damage for every 10 tons that the charging unit weighs, and this damage is multiplied by the number of hexes moved by the attacker that turn. The charging unit takes 1 point of damage for every 10 tons the target weighs. Round any fractions up.

Damaged caused by charges is divided into as many groups of 5 damage points as possible. The attacking player then rolls once on the appropriate Hit Location Table for each group.

If a unit charges a target that is in a building, the building and the target unit absorb damage as mentioned above. Also, the charging pilot must make a Piloting Skill Roll with a +3 modifier in addition to the building modifier to avoid taking damage from entering the building. The target unit must also make the same roll if the displacement causes it to cross walls.

For Example, an Archer moves four hexes and charges another mech, If the charge hits, the defender will take 28 points of damage; 7 for the Archer’s tonnage multiplied by 4 for the number of hexes moved.

Falls After any successful charge, both the attacker and the defender must make Piloting Skill Rolls with +2 modifiers. Failure means that the mech fell in the hex that it is currently in and takes additional damage due to the fall."

The BattleTech Manual, The Rules of Warfare", # 1626, pg 26-27, FASA Corporation, Chicago, IL, 1987


Whenever a mech has one of its arms or legs blown off, the limb is left lying in the hex where the mech took the damage. Any other mech that ends its movement in that hex at a later time can pick up the arm or leg and use it as a giant club. A mech must forego making weapons and physical attacks during the turn that it picks up a club. A mech may carry the club with one hand, but whichever arm is used to carry the club suffers a +2 to-hit penalty when firing weapons or engaging or doing anything else. Because of the added weight of a club, any mech carrying one also suffers a +1 penalty to piloting rolls.

Other objects may also be used as a club. Girders from rubbled Medium, Heavy or Hardened Buildings may also be used as clubs. The player must roll 2D6 during the attack phase to search rubble for a suitable girder. A roll of 7+ is needed to find a girder in a Medium Building, a 6+ is needed for a Heavy Building, and a 5+ is needed for a rubbled Hardened Building.

To attack another mech with a club, the mech’s shoulders and hand actuators must be working, and no arm-mounted weapons may be fired in the turn. The target must be in the forward firing arc.

Using both hands, a *Club Attack has a base To Hit Number of piloting +1. Normal To Hit modifiers for terrain and movement are also applied.

If any of the mech’s upper or lower arm actuators have been destroyed, use the punch modifiers listed. A mech making an attack with a club does 1 point of damage for every 5 tons it weighs.

Clubs may be used against any type of unit, but infantry have an additional +3 To Hit Modifier."

The BattleTech Manual, The Rules of Warfare", # 1626, pg 27, FASA Corporation, Chicago, IL, 1987

House Rule: Trees may not be used as clubs. Hunks of wood don’t penetrate modern armor today, let along a thousand years from now. Also, we have added a couple of small penalties for carrying a 5 ton steel girder or severed mech limb. We feel this make sense considering a club generally will do more damage than a four ton hatchet.

Death From Above

BattleMechs can charge while jumping, a physical attack that is very damaging to both the attacking mech and the target. In effect, the charging mech crashes into the target from three elevation levels above, using the feet and weight to inflict damage to the target’s upper torso, arms and head. In return, the charging mech is certain to take damage to its legs, which are not designed for the enormous stresses from this attack. Finally, both mechs are almost certain to fall.

Blackjack.jpgAlthough this type of charge does potentially less damage than a regular charge, the damage is concentrated on the upper part of the target mech. The chance for a head hit is one in six, very high indeed! Death From Above attacks may also be made against vehicles and infantry. Hits against vehicles are resolved on the Front Side location. A successful Death From Above attack on a VTOL automatically hits the rotor. Infantry targets have an additional +3 To Hit modifier.

The Base To Hit Number for this attack is piloting +2, just as for a normal Charge. This number must be modified for movement (i.e. the jumping movement of the attacker and the normal movement of the target), but NOT for terrain. If the hit is successful, both mechs take damage as determined below, If the attack misses, the charging mech crashes into the ground as discussed below.

Damage to the Target is determined by dividing the weight of the attacking mech by 10 and multiplying by 3. This means that a Spider with a weight of 30 tons gives 9 points of damage, all to the upper part of the target!

This damage is given as though it were a series of 5 point punches. Split up the total damage into as many 5 point groups as possible. Determine the hexside hit as though the attack has been from the charging mech’s starting hex. Then, determine the hit location of each 5 point group by rolling 1D6 and consulting the Punch Hit Location Table for each group. Record damage as usual.

Vehicle targets take damage to their front sides.

Damage to the Attacker
Damage to the attacker from a successful attack is determined as though the attacker had fallen one elevation level, and it is given only to the legs. To find the total damage received, divide the attacker’s weight by 10. Split this into 5 point groups, and roll the damage location on the Kick Hit Location Table for each group using the Front Side column.

After a successful attack, both mechs might fall. The Mech Warriors must make Piloting Skill rolls: the Target has a modifier of +2, and the Attacker has a modifier of +4.

After an Unsuccessful Attack
If the attack fails, the attacker automatically falls. Damage is determined as though it had fallen two elevation levels. Divide the weight of the mech by 10, multiply by 2, divide the total into 5 point groups, and determine hit location as though the mech had landed on its BACK.

Location After an Attack
If the Death From Above attack is successful and the target is a mech, the target is pushed one hex in the direction opposite the attack. The attacker lands in the targets original hex. If the attack fails, the target must move (his choice) to avoid damage from the attacker. The attacker lands in the target’s original hex.

If the target is a vehicle or infantry, then both units remain on the hex."

The BattleTech Manual, The Rules of Warfare", # 1626, pg 27, FASA Corporation, Chicago, IL, 1987

Physical Combat

Sons of Odin Stilicho